Brenda Spotton Visano is a distinguished University Professor in Economics and Public Policy. Her widely published interdisciplinary scholarship advances a heterodox perspective on macroeconomics and microfinance. Her passion for promoting access and diversity in theories, practices and the professions of economics and finance lies at the core of all her scholarly and professional engagements.  Dr. Spotton Visano has been a consultant to agencies of the Canadian Federal Government, the not-for-profit sector, labour organizations, and universities. She is the recipient of national, provincial and university level awards recognizing her contributions to research, teaching and university service, including the Canadian Association of University Teachers Award for Dedicated Service, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Status of Women Award of Distinction and its Award for Teaching Excellence.

Taking a “critical” or “progressive” approach to economic inquiry, her scholarship most broadly encompasses the interaction between economics, the economy, and institutions.  She uses interdisciplinary materials from economics, sociology, business and political science to examine comparatively the history and evolution of instability in and access to financial institutions and markets. Among her many publications is her forthcoming co-edited book Payday Lending in Canada in a Global Context (with Jerry Buckland and Chris Robinson), her 2006 sole-authored book Financial Crises: Socio-economic Causes and Institutional Context examining the susceptibility of financial systems to periodic collapse, and her co-edited book Room to Grow: Celebrating Atkinson’s Living Legacy (with Kristin Taylor), a collection of reflections on the contributions of Atkinson College to advancing higher education for non-traditional students. In addition to publishing numerous scholarly articles in academic journals and books, she is the author of several reports for various government ministries and agencies in Canada, UNESCO and NGOs.

Current Positions

University Professor with tenure, Department of Economics and School of Public Policy and Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (formerly Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies), York University (2008 to present)

Director, Transition Year Program @ York

Graduate Program Membership
Academic Honours & Awards

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Status of Women Award of Distinction (2012)

University Professor (honor conferred June 2010) To be nominated for University Professor, the candidate needs to be a long-serving tenured faculty member, who has made an extraordinary contribution to the University as a colleague, teacher and scholar. That includes a significant long-term contribution to the development or growth of the University or of its parts; significant participation in the collegium through mentorship, service and/or governance; sustained impact over time on the University’s teaching mission; and recognition as a scholar. (University Senate)

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Award for Dedicated Service (2004)

University Wide Teaching Award (2001)

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award (2000)

Areas of Research and Teaching Specialization:

Heterodox Macroeconomics (Financial and Monetary Systems); Microfinance; Consumer Finance; Practice of Community-based Research; Economic Sociology

Selected Professional Contributions: CVDec2017